63 Pleasant Street
Watertown, MA 02472
In 1970, a group of concerned parents, town officials and community volunteers formed Communities United, Inc., then a pilot program supported solely by Head Start funding with the purpose of providing comprehensive services in education, social services, health and parenting. At that time, CUI served a preschool population of 3-5 year olds for half-days in five communities. By 1980, the staff had grown to 50 and the program served 180 children.
Over the next ten years the number of staff and children served doubled. The need for full day childcare became a growing issue and by 1995 CUI becomes a lead agency for state funded Community Partnership Grants (CPC). CPC provides tuition subsidies enabling families to afford full day care for their children. With this support, CUI has continued to expand. Today the agency’s 115 employees serve approximately 450 children, of toddler and preschool age, from eleven unique suburban communities along the Rte. 128 belt. These communities are Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, Burlington, Lexington, Newton, Needham, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley and Woburn.
Mission & Goals
The goal of Communities United, Inc. is to give preschool children and families an opportunity to experience growth by providing an environment that encourages participation and interaction in a full range of developmentally appropriate activities. We promote an anti-bias perspective that acknowledges and celebrates differences. We are committed to the concept that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. We encourage and support parents to grow as their child's primary teacher and provide many different opportunities for them to become involved in their child’s development. We strive to increase the ability of children and families to cope with and initiate change in their lives and build upon the gains made through their experiences.
Communities United, Inc.’s mission is to provide high quality education and family services to a diverse population of children, ages 0 to 5 years. We strive to ensure the success of the child, empower the family and strengthen the community. Our vision is to:
In providing services to children and their families, Communities United Inc. does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, cultural heritage, national origin, gender, political belief, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.
Communities United is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an Executive Director and a volunteer Board of Directors. The agency has a staff of 100 employees which includes teachers, social service workers, bus drivers and administrative staff. Volunteerism has always been a key component of CUI’s philosophy and education curriculum. Since parents are the primary teachers in a child’s life, they are encouraged to spend time in the classroom. Last year, CUI had 230 volunteers who donated over 8,000 hours in classroom and other activities.
Who Does CUI Serve?
Communities United, Inc. actively serves families living in the communities of Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, Burlington, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley and Woburn. While CUI serves children from the full socio-economic spectrum, our focus is on identifying the most at-risk families and ensuring that their needs are met. Most of these communities are affluent, with median income above $65,000. The wealthy status of these areas exacerbates the problems of low-income families and working poor who are often isolated from the larger community. They frequently report that they are not valued and are not part of the town in which they live. Commonly those living at or below the poverty line are often overlooked and fail to receive necessary services. Because the entire town is perceived as being wealthy, those without means are overlooked. Pockets of hidden poverty exist in all eleven cities and towns that Communities United serves. In fact, the poor families that we serve face similar challenges and risks that poor families confront in the inner-city neighborhoods of Boston.
One of the more significant changes in CUI communities in the past several years is the growing ethnic and racial diversity of the population who are without any additional services to meet their families’ needs. This rapid influx of diverse ethnic groups has magnified the need to recognize and respond to new languages and cultures. There are a variety of languages spoken in these communities and within the local schools. Watertown Public Schools report over 60 languages spoken in their schools and Waltham Public Schools have identified over 40 languages spoken in their schools. From the moment a child starts in our program, we focus on building language and literacy. Our staff reflects the diversity of the population we serve and we encourage their professional development.
We see many challenges as the Agency continues to grow, yet we also revel in the success of our children and families as they move through and beyond CUI.
63 Pleasant Street
Watertown, MA 02472